BY RICHARD DRASIMAKU
YUMBE: FRIDAY, JANUARY 28, 2022
Rtd Capt Yasin Buga Matata, the Resident District Commissioner of Yumbe district has stepped in to tame land wrangle threatening to tear apart the Kiringa clan in Ariwa Sub County, Yumbe district.
On Thursday, the RDC outlined a five-point course of action to be followed to resolve the dispute said to be instigated by outsiders with vested interests to unscrupulously acquire land in the area but banging on internal divisions over land rights.
“Kiringa clan, you address your internal conflict. Open your boundary with neighbors,” he told Rtd Capt Stephen Arubaku, the cultural leader of Kiringa clan after four hours of deliberations lasting from 2:30 pm to 6:00 pm.
Matata directed Ariwa sub county chief and Yumbe district land officer, Adnan Banduga, both of whom are accused of taking sides in the conflict to see into it that they address the genuine development concerns of the Kiringa clan.
He ordered a stop to the “unnecessary” use of the police in conflict situations, warning that “I don’t want violence again” and advised the Kiringa clan leaders to harmonize gaps in their application for a Freehold land title which has for years being shelved allegedly by Banduga who apart from being the district land officer also calls himself the chairman of the district land board and the district surveyor of Yumbe district.
Banduga who was in attendance strenuously denied the allegations but admitted to harboring a conflict of interest by stating that he is protecting a 100 acres piece of land that his elder brother acquired in the conflict zone in 1980’s.
The RDC summoned the meeting in response to a letter from clan leader Capt Arubaku who invited him to address nine grievances that he said was behind the heightened land dispute in his community.
They included allegations by some local government officials that the clan leaders were anti-development by demanding a token of appreciation and compensation for ritual cleansing for the land given to the government for construction of sub county headquarters, Okubani market, Ariwa health centre III and Ariwa primary school.
Other issues include undisciplined individuals colluding with local government officials to fraudulently sale land and threatening to kill the clan leaders if they intervene to stop the land parceling and other people hiding under the guise of the development response to displacement impact project to register for tree planting in unoccupied areas without authorization of the clan leadership.
“Outsiders come here, bribe some people or buy land from unauthorized people to settle on and when you question them, they say land belongs to God,” Arubaku complained.
He added that an individual from Igaba clan, one of the several neighboring clans of Kiringa was claiming part of the about 19,500 hectares of the Kiringa clan land.
After the tense dialogue attended by leaders of the majority of the neighboring clans and those jostling for clan leadership with Capt Aruabaku, RDC Matata concluded: “ it has been agreed by the community that this land where dispute is belongs to the Kiringa clan. I urge you, my senior brother Capt Arubaku, to ensure harmony within your clan and live peacefully with your neighbors.”